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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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Allied Force by the Western Powers and supplied by Britain—now ceased
to exist. With the liberation of the countries in Western Europe., each
resistance movement had appeared on the surface and taken a great share,,
indeed, in the rule of their country, while its armed forces had become part
of the army, but in Poland, which had possessed not voluntary guerilla
bands, but a regular standing army, the Underground State was forced
even deeper into hiding in order to save the last of its leaders from death,
and its Army from total destruction. On 3ist January, the Commander
of the Home Army issued his last terse, sad order to his forces :—
" Soldiers of the Home Army !
" I give you my final command. Carry on your further work and activity
in the spirit of regaining complete independence for the Polish State and
for the defence of the Polish people against the forces of extermination.
Endeavour to be leaders of your people, and those who will attain the
independence of the Polish State. In this each one of you must be his own
commander.
" In the conviction that you will fulfil this order, that you will always
remain faithful only to Poland, and in order to facilitate your further work,
I am authorised by the President of the Polish Republic to release you from
your oath and to dissolve the ranks of the Home Army.
" In the name of the Polish Republic, I thank you for your devoted work
to date. I profoundly believe that our sacred cause will triumph, that we
shall meet in a truly free and un-occupied Poland.
" Long live a free, independent and happy Poland ! "
Thus terminated the story of the Polish Home Army which had no
parallel in world history. This Army, which had been able to fight in
the rear of the German front for so many years, was unable to survive
under the Soviet c liberator,' and had to be disbanded in the hour when
victory was so near, the victory for which they had striven during those
long years and for which they and their nation had contributed so much.
"After the dark autumn of 1939," wrote the Polish soldiers5 weekly in
London, " when the darkest hours of the Allies approached, the Polish
Home Ajrmy in company with the Polish Forces created abroad, demonstrated
that they were an tincomproniising faithful Ally. Quisling governments
arose throughout Europe and troops, including Russian, were formed in
every country to inarch side by side in Hitler's great * crusade' against the
Soviets, but in Poland alone the Germans did not even attempt to form such
a force. Only in Poland and Yugoslavia was there raging any underground
warfare during those days. Every train had to be guarded by the invader,
every railway station barricaded. It is sufficient to quote that up till the
middle of 1944, the troops of the Polish Home Army destroyed or damaged
7,000 railway engines, over 37,000 freight wagons—to quote these alone is
sufficient to illustrate how great was the share of the Home Army in the
German defeat on the East, a defeat which proved one of the main factors
of their eventual catastrophe.
" But those years of a continued struggle did not finish the exploits of
that Army. In spite of threats, in spite of the dangerous attitude of Soviet
Russia, in spite of the Russian force used against them, the soldiers of the
Home Army resolved to help the Red Army in its advance through Poland.
This they did to the same degree as they had co-operated with British>
American and Canadian soldiers oa all fronts of the war.
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